Posts tagged with "NYC Parks":

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NYC Parks to join $200K public art partnership with UNIQLO

Today, The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) and Japanese clothing company UNIQLO announced that UNIQLO has committed $200,000 in a grant to be issued over the next two years. The “Art in the Parks: UNIQLO Park Expressions” grant will install original artworks by New York City­­–based artists in 10 parks (two parks per each of the New York City's five boroughs). The grant is part of NYC Parks’ broader initiative to bring frequent public art exhibits to parks that have not had cultural programming in the past. The participating parks are Joyce Kilmer Park and Virginia Park in the Bronx; Fort Greene Park and Herbert Von King Park in Brooklyn; Thomas Jefferson Park and Seward Park in Manhattan; Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Rufus King Park in Queens; and Tappen Park and Faber Park in Staten island. Over the next two years, 20 emerging artists who “submit the most compelling public art proposals” will each receive $10,000 to complete their projects for their assigned park. The first round of artists will be announced in January 2017 and the first artworks will be ready for public display in spring 2017. The announcement was held at 11:30am this morning at Fort Greene Park Plaza with NYC Parks commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, UNIQLO USA CEO Hiroshi Taki, UNIQLO global director of corporate social responsibility Jean Shein, city councilmember Laurie Cumbo, and artist Alexandre Arrechea, as well as local artists and community members. This project is one of several in which UNIQLO has engaged to better local communities. In addition to its clothing recycling program, an ongoing initiative that collects gently used clothing at its stores and delivers them to those in need, the company has donated millions to people in need, such as refugees, disaster victims, and disadvantaged youth.
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Mayor de Blasio announces $150 million in funding for city’s “anchor parks”

Mayor de Blasio has announced $150 million in funding for major improvements to five New York City "anchor parks." The mayor chose one large park per borough—Highbridge Park in Manhattan, Betsy Head Park in Brooklyn, Freshkills Park on Staten Island, Saint Mary’s Park in the Bronx, and Astoria Park in Queens—to receive $30 million to upgrade facilities. Together these parks are within walking distance of 750,000 residents, but have suffered in years past from under-investment. The city has designated the five sites as anchors because they are community resources in densely populated, lower-income areas that have strong development potential. Parks Department commissioner Mitchell Silver told PIX11 that the chosen parks are a "stabilizing force in neighborhoods and offer more diverse resources than smaller community parks." “New Yorkers deserve to have the greatest parks in the world steps from their homes. That’s why our administration is focused on park equity, which brings fair access to and development of parks across the city. The Anchor Parks program, joined with the Community Parks Initiative and Parks Without Borders, marks another major step in advancing park equity for all New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. In the fall, Parks officials will outreach the surrounding communities to determine the best improvements to make. The announcement follows the Parks Department's groundbreaking on its first Community Parks Initiative (CPI) project last week. The mayor started CPI in 2014 to improve green space in low-income neighborhoods. City officials gathered at Thomas Boyland Playground in Bushwick, Brooklyn to celebrate the start of construction on the first 35 sites that will be built in CPI's first phase (an additional 12 parks are in design, with more sites to be announced soon). The $3 million renovation at Thomas Boyland will add a natural turf baseball field, basketball court, fitness equipment for adults, new landscaping, and a redesigned children's play area with a cooling spray shower. Last fall, de Blasio announced that CPI will receive $285 million in capital funds through 2019.
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A new petition aims to turn 360 unbuildable lots in NYC into green spaces

The New York Restoration Project (NYRP) has launched a petition to turn more than 360 lots deemed unbuildable into parks, gardens, and other green spaces, often in underserved neighborhoods. These lots are considered unusable for building because of their odd size, shape, or proneness to flooding. Rather than leaving them abandoned, the NYRP is offering to transform these patches of land into usable green spaces. They are petitioning the Mayor's office to place this land under their care. Public parks are an incredibly valuable part of a neighborhood, with benefits to quality of life for residents as well as potential for urban farming and use as a community space. Parks are often few and far between in the neighborhoods that need them most, while those in more affluent neighborhoods tend to have more resources available for maintenance. By acquiring this otherwise unusable land from the city and relying on volunteers for labor, the NYRP would be able to provide an essential service to underserved neighborhoods in all five boroughs at a low cost, as well as cleaning up the vacant lots. The NYRP just celebrated the 20th anniversary of its founding by Bette Midler in 1995. The non-profit organization revitalizes neglected parks across the five boroughs, specifically in underserved neighborhoods. In 1999, Midler and the NYRP led a coalition to save 114 community gardens being auctioned off by the city for commercial development. They now maintain 52 of those community gardens with the help of volunteers. The organization also completed their MillionTreesNYC initiative on November 20, 2015, two years ahead of schedule. With the help of the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, the NYRP planted one million trees across the five boroughs. They also offer free trees for New Yorkers to plant in their yards. Sign the petition here, and find more opportunities to donate or volunteer on the NYRP website.
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The Central Park Conservancy announces $300 million fundraising campaign

The Central Park Conservancy is embarking on a big fundraising campaign: The nonprofit is seeking $300 million for the care and upkeep of Manhattan’s largest park. The Central Park Conservancy receives only about a quarter of its funding from taxpayers, leaving the other 75 percent to be funded by private donations. Even with a yearly budget of $65 million, many necessary repairs are now long overdue. Its crews must maintain a 693 acres of parkland filled with 20,000 trees. The program is called “Forever Green: Ensuring the Future of Central Park,” and the money it raises will go towards improvements like replacing the pipes in the Conservatory Garden fountain, a new facade for the Naumburg Bandshell, and the restoration of Belvedere Castle. It also seeks to restore Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux's original vision for the space, and will focus on on historic features like The Ramble and the North Woods. While upkeep is costly, the Conservancy claims they help generate over $1 billion in economic activity yearly. The park now gets 42 million visitors, compared to 12 million a few decades ago. That booming number of guests has been hard on the park’s infrastructure. Luckily the conservation effort has no lack of donations from residents who have benefited from having the park in their backyard, including $100 million from hedge fund manager John A. Paulson and $25 million from the Thompson Family Foundation. The fundraising effort, having raised $112 million so far, is already more than a third complete.
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NYC’s eight Parks Without Borders winners announced

The Architect's Newspaper is reporting live from the first Parks Without Borders conference at the New School today, where the New York City Parks Department is announcing the eight winners of its inaugural Parks Without Borders competition, a citizen-driven process to upgrade the nodes, edges, buffers, and "park-adjacent" spaces that form the boundaries between parks, sidewalks, and other public spaces. (Check out AN's coverage of the competition, including an interview with NYC Parks commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, here.) Many parks have uninviting, block-long fences, poor wayfinding, or other barriers to entry that make them difficult to access. The city has allocated $50 million to refurbish the selected parks by softening their edge conditions; more than 6,000 nominations for 692 parks (over 30 percent of city parks) were made by individuals and community groups for the competition. NYC Parks chose eight parks based on criteria that included park access, community support, and current physical conditions. Here are the eight winners:
    1. Faber Park (Staten Island)
    2. Prospect Park (Brooklyn)
    3. Fort Greene Park (Brooklyn)
    4. Van Cortlandt Park (Bronx)
    5. Hugh Grant Circle / Virginia Park and Playground (Bronx)
    6. Jackie Robinson Park (Manhattan)
    7. Seward Park (Manhattan)
    8. Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Queens)
“Parks Without Borders has engaged thousands of New Yorkers, who shared ideas for park improvements online and in person. That’s proof positive  of how excited New Yorkers are to increase accessibility and openness in their favorite parks,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, in a statement. “Thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC funding for this major placemaking initiative, we will positively transform New Yorkers’ experience of public space.”
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Staten Island’s eerie, abandoned Farm Colony to be transformed into senior housing

Staten Island's abandoned New York City Farm Colony is being redeveloped into Landmark Colony, a $91 million residential community for seniors 55 and older. The architect is Staten Island–based Vengoechea + Boyland Architecture/Urban Planning. The Farm Colony was founded in 1829 as a government-run poorhouse for indigent New Yorkers. Enrollment declined with the introduction of government-run antipoverty programs like Social Security in the 1930s and the Great Society programs of the 1960s. The colony closed for good in 1975. Vacant since then, the Dutch revival–style buildings have decayed and now provide canvases for graffiti artists. In 1982, some of the land was annexed to the NYC Parks Department and added to the Staten Island Greenbelt, which runs adjacent to the property. The site, along with neighboring Seaview Hospital, was designated a New York City historic district in 1985.
With last week's City Council approval, Landmark Colony's opening is set for 2018. Plans call for constructing 344 units, a mix of medium-rise condos and low-rise townhouses, on the 43-acre site, the Staten Island Advance reported.
The complex will include 18,500 square feet of retail, a community center with an outdoor swimming pool, and 17.6 acres of green space. The colony's pond will be refurbished, and a hill with seating will surround a stage for concerts and events. 90 percent of the existing roads will be converted into bike and pedestrian trails.
Some of the ruins will be left standing, and, per the Landmark Preservation Commission approval process, new buildings must be compatible with the architectural heritage of the Farm Colony. Former dormitories will be converted into loft-style condos, while the design of the townhouses will reference the shop building on-site.
With construction expected to take less than two years, urban explorers have a only a few months left to explore the Farm Colony's ghostly ruins.
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Top 5 Entries Announced for “Draw Up a Chair” Battery Green Seating Competition

At the tip of Lower Manhattan, a three-acre green space in the 22-acre Battery Park may soon be home to a field of flower-shaped seats, a sea of brightly colored rocking chairs, or a plethora of pivotable chaise lounges. Last summer, the Battery Conservancy Americas launched the "Draw Up a Chair" design competition, the first of its kind from the New York City Parks Department, calling for a moveable, outdoor chair to fill the oval lawn of Battery Green. The new park is currently under construction as part of rebuild efforts after last year’s Hurricane Sandy devastated the area. From a previously condensed pool of 50, the Conservancy has chosen the top five proposals, from firms spanning four countries. Each unique design is stackable, weatherproof, and made of recycled materials. Full-scale prototypes of each Top 5 chair design will be on display for public examination and comfort testing in Battery City’s Castle Clinton National Monument from April 2014 through June 2014. The winner will be announced next June and awarded a $10,000 prize. U Rock Team Project by Davi Deusdara, Érica Martins, Tais Costa, Rafael Studart, and Alencar Falcão Brazil “The U Rock chair gives you the choice of sitting straight in a comfortable and beautiful chair or to rock it out in a fun, cool new take on the classic rocking chair. You just have to flip it over. Its design is friendly to all ages and being light, stackable and easy to carry around, it also contributes to many different social arrangements and situations.” The chair is made of PETE plastic bottles in combination with glass fiber for a lightweight, recycled material seat. Pivot Chair Simon Kristak and Aiden Jamison of Independent Design Group United States "The Pivot Chair is a study in dualities, ripe with qualities that encourage and accommodate different programs one finds at Battery Park. Lightweight yet durable, static yet moving, neutral yet specific, the Pivot Chair has two physical phases: upright and reclined, and the chair is set in these two positions by “pivoting” about a central leg. This allows the user to define their mode, passive or active, while within Battery Park." Its bent tube frames with metal slats or extended metal mesh infill are cost effective and can be manufactured locally. Fluert Andrew Jones of Andrew Jones Design Canada "The design impulse for Fleurt came from imagining how a field of chairs could poetically respond to the lawn of Battery Park. Using a single chair in repetition, the view across the lawn is transformed by the whimsical suggestion of sun-loving flowers floating in a field. The chair is conceived as an open blossom; seat, back and arms are abstracted as petals and synthesized into an archetypal floral form. Constantly rearranged by visitors to the park, the chairs create a memorable, diaphanous landscape." Fluert chairs are made of a thin steel shell, welded and then powder coated and its base is a single bent tube. In soft blues and mauves, the chair’s colors are representative of the first blooming bulb flowers. South Chair Jason Bird, Designer United States "The South Chair concept for the Battery Park Conservatory has been designed as a unique, contemporary form for outdoor movable seating. Robust construction and marine grade, exterior materials makes this design not only a long term proposition, but the soft curves, flexible backrest and color options provide a playful aesthetic and comfortable seat for a large percentage of the public." A single tube frame creates an "infinite loop" and the seat and backrest are fabricated of recycled milk cartons. This material is also used for boat decking, making the South Chair resistant to salt spray and sun damage. Maple Chair Maria Camarena Bernard of Maria Camarena Design Mexico "For manufacturing three Maple Chairs a sheet of aluminum of 0.2 x 96 x 48 inches is used. The entire chair is a single piece, which with cuts and folds acquires the desired form. This will make greater use of the materials and the waste is recyclable. ...The leaves on the seat and back are pictures of Silver maple leaves, a common tree in the region. The white aluminum, the pattern of the leaves and the soft and subtle shape claim to be a mantle, which instead of be placed in the grass for a picnic became a chair." View more details on each design here.
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On View> Tracey Emin’s Roman Standard Alights in Petrosino Square

What: Tracey Emin’s Roman Standard Where: Petrosino Square (Spring and Lafayette Streets, NYC) When: May 10 to September 8, 2013 This summer, Nolita’s Petrosino Square in New York will feature Roman Standard, a thirteen-foot-tall pole with a solitary bronze bird perched at the top. From the ground, the towering sculpture by Tracey Emin, sponsored by Art Production Fund, White Cube, and Lehmann Maupin in collaboration with NYC Parks & Recreation, is so lifelike that onlookers may mistake it for a real bird. According to the artist, the figure is a sign of “hope, faith, and spirituality” that should serve as a source of reflection. The showcase will be on view from May 10 to September 8, 2013. Emin pulls inspiration from the militaristic representations of traditional Roman Standards and desires to demonstrate the power that an outwardly unimportant creature can personify through stature and space. In an attempt to design a public display full of magic and mystery instead of oppression and supremacy, the artist suggests that successful works of this variety can be inspiring without being monumental. Roman Standard is Emin’s first public art project and was commissioned by BBC in 2005 as a part of the art05 festival. Following a lucrative Times Square appearance in February, the Petrosino Square exhibit marks her second public project in the New York City. She is a renowned contemporary artist and is globally recognized for her brutally honest approach to art. In concurrence with Roman Standard, Lehmann Maupin will host the two-part installation, Tracey Emin: I Followed You To The Sun. Highlighting more than 100 original works, the exhibition will be on view through June 22, 2013 at both of its New York galleries. The show will expose Emin’s most personal tales.
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Rockwell Group Designs A Treehouse-esque Playground for Park in Brownsville

The Rockwell Group and NYC Parks unveiled their plans last week to turn a 1.5-acre section of Betsy Head Park in Brownsville into a lush and active playground. When designing Imagination Playground, the firm looked to treehouses for inspiration. The site will feature a winding ramp that snakes around London Plane trees and connects to slides and a series of jungle gyms that spill out into an open area with sand, water, benches, and plantings. In collaboration with landscape architecture firm MKW + Associates, the Rockwell Group has taken on this project pro-bono and will donate a set of Playground Blocks to the Brownsville Recreation Center. The $3.92 million playground was funded with the help of government subsidies from Mayor Bloomberg, Borough President Markowitz, and Council Member Mealy. Partner David Rockwell founded Imagination Playground in partnership with NYC Parks and KaBOOM, a non-profit organization, to encourage activity and unstructured play for children at nominal cost by providing loose building blocks in outdoor recreational spaces. Right now the project is slated to break ground in spring of 2014 and open in 2015.